Bullying is a wide spread epidemic that effects children of all ages, spans into the collegiate level, and is found in the adult workforce. Bullying knows no boundaries and is quickly increasing due to social media and the internet.
North Carolina is not immune to the trauma that is bullying. Bullying has increased in severity as well as frequency. So much so that on June 30, 2009 a new bill addressing school bullying was passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Beverly Purdue.
The Senate Bill 526, defines bullying and harassing behaviors as well as states the requirement that “all local school administrative units to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and harassing behavior as required by the act” and that “to the extent funds are appropriated for these purposes, a local school administrative unit shall, by March 1, 2010, provide training on the local policy to school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students.”
Many other states have passed similar laws and are implementing stricter punishments for the bully. However, despite the new laws and requirements bullying remains an every day occurrence within schools, after school programs, camps, and clubs.
With the April 13 release date for the movie “Bully” it seems only appropriate to discuss this ever growing crisis.
Over 18 million young people in the United States will be bullied this year. Here, we follow a disquieting year in the life of several students joining this staggering statistic. As teachers and parents grapple with America's bullying crisis, the students do what they can to survive a school day
2011 Statistics on Bullying:
There is a relationship between bullying or being bullied and other types of violence, including fighting, carrying weapons, and suicide. The 2009 Indicators of School Crime and Safety collected statistics from a variety of studies, which showed that:
- One third of teens reported being bullied while at school
- About 20 percent of teens had been made fun of by a bully
- 18 percent of teens had rumors or gossip spread about them
- 11 percent were physically bullied, such as being shoved, tripped, or spit on,
- 6 percent were threatened
- 5 percent were excluded from activities they wanted to participate in
- 4 percent were coerced into something they did not want to do
- 4 percent had their personal belongings destroyed by bullies
- 4 percent of teens in this study reported being the victims of cyber bullying
- Most bullying occurred inside the school, with smaller numbers of bullying incidents occurring outside on the school grounds, on the school bus, or on the way to school
- Only about a third of bully victims reported the bullying to someone at school
- About 2 of every 3 bully victims were bullied once or twice during the school year
- 1 in 5 were bullied once or twice a month
- 1 in 10 were bullied daily or several times a week
- In addition, about 20 percent of students experience physical bullying at some point in their lives.
- About 8 percent of students have been the victims of a cyber bullying
- Studies have indicated that females may be the victims more often than males
- 60% of middle school students say that they have been bullied, while 16% of staff believe that students are bullied
- 160,000 students stay home from school everyday due to bullying. (NEA)
- 30% of students who reported they had been bullied said they had at times brought weapons to school
- A bully is 6 times more likely to be incarcerated by the age of 24
- A bully is 5 times more likely to have a serious criminal record when he grows up
- 2/3 of students who are targets become bullies
- 20% of all children say they have been bullied
- 20% of high school students say they have seriously considered suicide with the last 12 months
- 25% of students say that teachers intervened in bullying incidents while 71% of teachers say they intervened
- The average child has watched 8,000 televised murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school
- In schools where there are bullying programs bullying is reduced by 50%
- Bullying was a factor in 2/3 of the 37 school shootings reviewed by the US Secret Service
- According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) (Sauter, et al.,1990), there is a loss of employment amounting to $19 billion and a drop in productivity of $3 billion due to workplace bullying
- Law enforcement costs related to bullying are enormous. Since 1999, the Office on Violence against Women (OVW) has spent $98 million in assistance to address campus sexual violence.
What can you do to help STOP BULLYING:
- Keep the schools accountable: Ask your local schools what are their anti-bullying policies, trainings, and plans. Make sure that schools in your community are following through with their responsibility to have such programs in place. Such information should be shared freely with parents and the community.
- Listen to your children: We mean really listen about their day, their friends, what they did, and how they felt throughout the day. Don’t interrupt right away. Just listen.
- Ask your children questions: Ask what they enjoyed about their day. Ask what they didn’t enjoy. Ask then about what they think about different children in their class
- Teach them the skills: The skills to avoid bullying situations, how to advocate for themselves if they become a victim, how to advocate for others if they witness bullying, how to ask for help, how to reach out to you
- Make it safe for them to talk to you: About bullying they experienced, witnessed, or participated in.
- Teach them empathy: This reduces the likelihood that they will engage in bullying behaviors
- Be aware: Of the students, teachers, and administration that your child is involved with
- Be supportive: Validate their feelings and let them know you will be there to help them
- Look around: Be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you so that you can learn the dynamics and the roles of the participants
- Most importantly: TAKE ANY TYPE OF BULLYING SERIOUSLY
What we are doing to help STOP BULLYING:
In an effort to assist school administrative units in fulfilling the state requirements and to promote a safe and secure learning environment for students, DeNome Alliances is offering a training session for administrators and staff on the requirements of Senate Bill 526.
In accordance with Senate Bill 526, the training session will address the following components:
- Definition and descriptions of bullying and harassing behaviors
- Bullying in the past vs. Bullying in present day
- State and national data and anecdotal evidence to identify the most vulnerable targets and potential victims of bullying and harassment
- The psychological effects of bullying and harassing
- Effective ways to decrease/defuse bullying and harassing behaviors
- Effective consequences for bullying and harassing behaviors
- Ways to report bullying and harassing behaviors
- Requirements of the new school policy to prohibit bullying or harassing behaviors (Policy required to be developed before December 21, 2009 per Senate Bill 526 § 115C-407.6)
If you or anyone else is interested in scheduling a training time or receiving additional information about the Anti-Bullying Training please contact us today.
For resources and ways you can get involved please visit the following websites: